Reward Positive Behavior With Bird Treats
Drs. Foster & Smith Educational Staff

Bird Behavior

Birds are very intelligent animals that can be trained to perform a variety of tricks. While many birds enjoy the training session and consider the interaction a reward in itself, some birds require more incentive. Treats are an excellent way to coax reluctant birds and to establish and reinforce positive behavior.

Use Treats as a Motivator
When training with treats, it is important to choose the treat your bird shows the most enthusiasm for. A favorite treat makes an excellent motivator and should be used exclusively for training. Keep this particular treat special by storing it in a separate location and avoid taking it out other than for training. The treat will then remain "special" and will also serve as a visual signal, generating anticipation and enthusiastic behavior.

Treats should be broken into bitesize portions and seeds or nuts should be shelled for quick and easy consumption. Small portions are ideal, since they can be consumed quickly and maintain the focus on training rather than on eating. Colorful and flavorful treats such as Nutri-Berries or Kaytee Yogurt Dips are excellent choices.

Consistently Reward Positive Behavior
To ensure fruitful and productive training, rewards should be given consistently, so your bird associates the treat with desired action. Reward your bird immediately after each correct behavior so he is able to make a clear connection. Any delays can weaken the association and confuse your bird.

Clearly defining the relationship between desired action and treat will be the basis for all behavior modification. Reward positive behavior and never hit, yell, or give any other type of punishment. This will only help to erode the trust you are trying to establish.

Make training a positive and pleasurable experience. Be sure to lavish your bird with verbal rewards and praise your bird for each success. Training sessions should always end on a positive note. Soon, the interaction during training will be reward enough and you'll be pleasantly surprised at all the tricks your well-behaved bird is able to perform.

Behavior Effect When should I give my bird a treat?
Treats should be given as a reward to positively reinforce desired behavior. When training, reward good behavior immediately. Do not acknowledge bad behavior in any way.
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